Oct 14, 2010 9:49am
Re: Gregg Allman story (non dead)
Never heard this one before.
"After the conclusion of counsel's opening statements, the government presented its case-in-chief, which consumed only two days of the trial. The lengthiest testimony came from the first witness, Joe Fuchs. Fuchs was an ex-pharmacist and an alleged co-conspirator in connection with much of Herring's drug activity.8 Aside from Fuchs, Gregg Allman testified most lengthily.
Allman took the stand on the afternoon of the first day of trial, June 23.9 He testified for the remainder of that day and for a portion of the next. On direct examination, Allman told of meeting Herring in a Macon bar in 1973 and the subsequent development of a mutual friendship. Allman testified that in late 1973 or early 1974, Herring sold him some pharmaceutical cocaine and some Demerol. This was the first drug transaction between Allman and Herring, and it instituted a pattern of activity which continued throughout 1974. Allman stated that he later came to know the pharmacist, Fuchs, as Herring's supplier and that on occasion Allman would deal directly with Fuchs. Usually Allman would place a drug order with either Fuchs or Herring and would pay Herring upon delivery. This arrangement existed until the latter part of 1974, when Herring told Allman that government drug inspectors were "really on" Fuchs.
Obviously, Allman's testimony was extremely damaging to the defense. Understandably enough, defense counsel's cross-examination of Allman was both lengthy and detailed, and the attack on Allman's credibility was forceful. The defense employed several devices to impeach Allman's testimony, including certain statements made during Allman's grand jury appearance and his admitted use of drugs during the period covered by his direct testimony. Additionally, the defense focused heavily on the direct connection between Allman and Fuchs, and on Allman's admissions that the defendant Herring had actually attempted in 1974 to persuade him to stop using drugs.
A brief redirect examination followed this cross-examination, and Allman then stepped down from the stand sometime during the morning of June 24, the second day of the trial. The government called several additional witnesses and rested its case-in-chief at the end of the day. Up to this point, the trial had proceeded relatively smoothly.
On June 25, however, an unfortunate series of events occurred. On the morning of that day, Macon's leading daily newspaper, the Macon Telegraph, carried a front-page story on Allman under a banner headline that read "ALLMAN UNDER HEAVY GUARD" and bore a subtitle reading "Death Threats Reported." Macon Telegraph, June 25, 1976, at 1A. In the middle of the front page, above the crease, was a photograph of Allman being escorted by several official-looking gentlemen; this photograph was captioned "Gregg Allman with Federal Bodyguards in Bibb Courthouse." Id. The lead story under the headline began as follows: "Threats against the life of Macon rock superstar Gregg Allman have prompted federal officials to shield the key witness from danger by ordering four U.S. Marshals to give him 'protective custody' around the clock." Id. The story went on to report that federal officials had confirmed that Allman had received threats on his life and that "stiff security measures" were in force at the Macon federal courthouse, where Herring's trial was in progress. Id. At one point the newspaper quoted the district judge presiding over Herring's trial as stating that the security measures had been ordered "out of an overabundance of precaution." Id."
And From People Magazine in 1976 about him and Cher:
The biggest downer for Gregg and Cher is that they're taking the rap for busting up Betts and the other boys in the band. It was tough enough when their deep-fried fans knocked Cher as the disruptive Yoko Ono/Linda Eastman of the Allman Brothers. But now Gregg is being bad-mouthed as a stool pigeon after testifying in return for immunity in the case of his good buddy, road manager and conduit, Scooter Herring. Scooter reportedly once saved Gregg's life from an overdose with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. After Herring pulled a 75-year sentence (pending judicial review) for supplying Allman with a half gram of cocaine daily, Gregg became a pariah in Macon and is said to have received several death threats. Even the federal judge fumed that "the person who ought to be prosecuted is Mr. Allman."
As Gregg now explains for the first time, his grand jury testimony came under threat of his own imprisonment. "Man, it was heavy in there," he recalls. "If I had refused to say anything, they were going to make me do a couple of years." He says defensively that Scooter told him not to sweat it ("They won't be able to touch me") and that he only "corroborated" testimony about Herring given by others. "All the time they had been questioning other people until they finally had enough on him." At Herring's trial, Allman had to repeat his damaging testimony or face perjury charges. Yet Gregg continues to insist, however implausibly, that "Scooter was one of my best, closest, dearest friends, and he still is."
As for the future of the Allmans (of which he is the sole surviving brother), Gregg seethes that "the band was gone long before this whole trial thing hit." Gregg refused to cut a new LP after the group's latest tour ended last winter. The tour was supposed to gross $15 to $18 million, but "all we had left among us was $100,000," he claims. "Everybody was writing checks, and nobody knew where the money was. After the audit is over, we're really going to find out what broke up the Allman Brothers Band." The other musicians, however, are more suspicious of Gregg and his L.A. lawyers. "He really hurt everybody when he did that to Scooter," says bassist Lamar Williams, who with two other band members split to form Sea Level. "I still love the cat, but I could never work with him again."
All the Allman bandsmen agree that the group's disintegration began last year when Gregg's marriage to Cher seemed to be falling apart amid his own struggle with drugs. Cher, magnanimously, blames herself for his wasted state. "A lot of it had to do with my work," she confesses. "Gregory would say, 'You're a great big star, but you're not that much fun to be around, because you're not around.' If he had come from Mars, our backgrounds couldn't have been more different."
Gregg elaborates, "It was my getting used to L.A. and her, and her getting used to me. I thought I didn't fit in. I filed for divorce because I was afraid it would come from her first." The weekend after Gregg's divorce action, Cher suffered through her second weekend session in an "est" course. ("It was really difficult to go into that room with 250 people after just being dumped.") What neither one knew was that Cher was pregnant. They began to make up in December, and when premature labor pains put her into a hospital in April, Gregg rushed to Honolulu to comfort her. They've been together ever since.